Sexual Harassment Lawyers Oakland

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Sexual Harassment Lawyers Oakland

If you or a loved one has suffered sexual harassment in the workplace in the Bay Area, you should contact a lawyer with experience in cases like yours as soon as possible. Sexual harassment violates federal and state law, and you can receive compensation for the injuries you have suffered. 

Like most civil rights issues in California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, or FEHA, primarily covers sexual harassment law. And, again, as is the case with most things FEHA governs, understanding and dealing with sexual harassment can be subtle and complex, requiring the assistance of experienced and knowledgeable sexual harassment lawyer in Oakland

Sexual harassment, under California law, consists of any of various acts such as:

  • Insulting comments, slurs, or joke
  • Leering and insulting gestures
  • Unwanted touching, whether intentional or allegedly accidental
  • Discussion of sexual acts
  • Unwanted solicitations for sex
  • Offers to exchange sex for benefits at work
  • Threats of job loss or reduction in benefits at work for refusing sex
  • “Gifts” of sexually suggestive objects
  • Graphic or degrading comments, sexual or obscene messages, emails, invitations, texts
  • Aggressive blocking of your movements

Under federal law, sexual harassment appears in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under both FEHA and Title VII, sexual harassment is employment discrimination. There are two recognized types of sexual harassment.

Quid Pro Quo (this for that) is sexual harassment that involves a proposed exchange. Your harasser may offer a promotion in exchange for sex or extra hours in exchange for sex. In other words, quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when someone makes your hiring, continued employment, benefits, or promotion depend upon your willingness to engage in sex. It can appear as an offer or may be a threat. Only one instance is required to bring about liability.

Hostile Environment sexual harassment happens when the offensive behavior is severe or so pervasive that it actually changes the conditions of your employment, interferes with your ability to work, or creates a hostile, offensive, or intimidating work environment. You do not have to be the target of hostile behavior to suffer from a hostile environment. You can suffer from conduct aimed at another, and if sufficiently severe, even one incident can be sufficient to create a hostile environment. More commonly, however, the behavior goes on for a long time before it becomes virtually unbearable. 

The legal test for finding a hostile environment is both subjective and objective. Objectively, the behavior should be such that a reasonable person in the same situation will find it abusive, hostile, or offensive.

Subjectively, the conduct must have caused the victim emotional distress, affecting their ability to work, disturbing them mentally, or interfering with their well-being. 

Speak with an Oakland Sexual Harassment Attorney

As we said, proving these cases can be subtle and complicated, so you need an attorney with lots of experience with cases like yours. If you believe you have suffered sexual harassment, contact Olivier & Schrieber LLP immediately so we can help you begin to recover from your harassment.


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